Please pick an attorney to replace Justice Souter. I know there's always a lot of pressure to pick an "average American" type for the Court, and I respect that. I can also appreciate that having a diversity of perspectives and life experiences will be beneficial for the Court. But let's not go crazy here. The Court is not a political actor--at the least, it's not political in the way the legislative and executive branches are.
So while I'd fully support Obama's decision to follow Senator Leahy's advice and pick "somebody who has had some real-life experience, not just as a judge," I'm troubled by the implications of these kinds of preferences if taken to their logical extremes. Especially given Sen. Leahy's (and other's) expressed desire to "see more people from outside the judicial monastery." It may sound elitist, but this job is not for anyone--it's for someone trained in the law, who understands the law, and is not picking sides based on outcomes.
I can live with a selection who has "real-life experience" (whatever that means), so long as part of that experience involves the training and background to work with complicated, interesting legal issues on a daily basis.